Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

Back To The Grind
by Adam Biessener on Sep 22, 2009 at 02:02 PM
Publisher: Atari
Developer: CDV
Rating: Mature
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: PlayStation 3

I can hardly believe it. Sacred 2's interface almost universally works better on console than it does on PC. Maybe it's the extra development time, but everything from inventory management to potion usage and skill activation flows better on a gamepad. Throw in the four-player online co-op, and this is a fun action/RPG regardles of its myriad technical problems.

As one of the game's six archetypes, you'll wander the vast world of Ancaria in a quest to do something or other. The spotty localization drags the stupid story down even further, but who reads quest text anyway? The real star here is exploring the gorgeous and varied world, killing most of its denizens, and then taking their stuff.

Ancaria's size should not be underestimated. It's no exaggeration to say that you could easily dump north of a hundred hours into the game and not run out of content. If you do, of course, there are higher difficulties to conquer with your tricked-out hero.

Bread and butter combat tends toward the formulaic, but it works well enough to not stand in the way of enjoying the outstanding character progression and delightfully realized world of Sacred 2. On a gamepad, the combat feels much like a slower-paced Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, with skills ranging from fireballs to melee combos punctuating the drone of basic attacks.

Sacred 2 is fun for what it is, but ultimately fails to capture the old Diablo magic. Combat is nowhere near the tight, tactical paradise that Diablo II could reach in its better moments, and the framerate is a constant drag. Targeting spells like meteor showers or teleports is slow and clumsy on a gamepad, and the AI for followers is pretty broken. Still, you're not going to find a comparable title on 360 or PS3, and Sacred 2 is a decent enough way to get your experience grind on.

Game Informer's Review System
Concept Port last year's PC-only German fantasy action/RPG to consoles
Graphics Great detail and art direction, but I wish I could turn some settings down for a more stable framerate
Sound The voiceovers are gems of poorly localized unintentional comedy
Playability With the exception of the few ground-targeted skills, this plays better with a gamepad than a mouse and keyboard
Entertainment Where else are you going to get your loot and level-grinding fix?
Replay Moderate